Lutheran Home residents crank out summer treat
By Kathy Chaffin
Before moving into Lutheran Home at Trinity Oaks almost two years ago, Era Craver made homemade ice cream almost every Saturday during the summers.
“I put a can of condensed milk in mine when I made it,” she said, “and it was so good.”
For 87-year-old Craver, turning the crank on an old-time ice cream freezer Wednesday afternoon brought back memories of home. She said she planned to try “some of all the flavors.”
Members of the Millbridge Ruritan Club provided 12 freezers and most of the manpower for the annual homemade ice cream party at Lutheran Home. Staff, residents and guests also helped make the ice cream.
Scott Davis and his family happened to be up from Orlando, Fla., visiting his grandmother, 91-year-old Frances Davis, who moved to Lutheran Home from the China Grove area more than 10 years ago.
“We didn’t even know there was an ice cream party,” Scott Davis said, but that didn’t stop them from offering to help.
Fifteen-year-old John Patrick Davis and 10-year-old Anderson Davis helped turn cranks while their father helped keep the freezers supplied with rock salt and ice. Their mother, Karen Davis, brought their great-grandmother out to enjoy the fun.
Frances Davis said she was partial to cherry ice cream.
Tom Turner of the Millbridge Ruritan Club was helping out with his grandson, 14-year-old Tyler Corriher. “It’s fun,” Corriher said of turning the crank. “It keeps your muscles big.”
Resident Martha Dickens also helped turn the crank on one of the freezers. When asked her age, she said 98. “Doesn’t that sound young?” she wanted to know.
Before moving into Lutheran Home, Dickens said she made homemade ice cream occasionally. Her Rowan County neighbor also had a freezer, she said, and they’d make different flavors and share it.
As for the party, she said she wanted to try the pineapple ice cream.
Frank Deal of the Ruritan Club brought his wife, Mary, to help along with their granddaughter, Danielle Deal. “I came with him because I love him enough to help,” Danielle said. “This is something I enjoy doing. It’s fun. It’s helpful.”
She, in turn, invited three of her friends, rising high school seniors Kathleen Harrison, Hannah Lambe and Autumn Foster to join in the fun.
Lambe said she was enjoying turning the crank, but it was the most manual labor she had done in a while. “I’m tired,” she said.
Frank Deal said the freezers would make 18 gallons of ice cream, including the basic vanilla and chocolate flavors along with peach, banana, Oreo cookie, pineapple, strawberry and cherry. Brenda Zimmerman, who heads up Lutheran Home’s activity department, said there was even a freezer of hazelnut.The homemade ice cream party has been an annual event since Lutheran Home opened in 1976. Area churches had been making the ice cream and bringing it to the residents, she said, but the Millbridge Ruritans9 agreed to take on the project three years ago when new health department regulations required it to be made on site.
“They saved us as far as being able to do this,” she said. Area churches continue to bring desserts to serve with the ice cream.
More than 25 cakes and pies were brought in for Wednesday’s party. Zimmerman said there was enough left to serve to the residents with their Sunday lunch.
Residents and staff mixed the ice cream base ó milk, cream, sugar and eggs ó on Tuesday, cooking and refrigerating it. They cut the fruit to go in it early Wednesday morning.
“The residents did all the prepping,” she said.
Volunteers started making the ice cream at noon, and residents began gathering in the dining hall around 2 p.m. to enjoy the results.
Activity Director Pat Norris said vanilla and chocolate are the most requested flavors. Some residents, however, want to sample all the flavors, she said.
More than 100 residents were served ice cream Wednesday afternoon. Zimmerman said even those with diet restrictions were allowed to cheat just a little bit and enjoy the ice cream.All Lutheran Home staff helped with the event. It was a real team effort, she said.
Administrator Bill Johnson has another treat planned for the residents this Saturday, when they’ll have tomato sandwiches for an afternoon snack.
All the tomatoes will be locally grown.
Zimmerman said the sandwiches will remind them of home. “It’ll reminds them of their gardens,” she said, “and it’s just something they love to eat.”